• Police break up alleged meth conspiracy, arrest dozens

    By: Greg Suskin


    LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. - For the first time, officers from Lancaster and Chester counties along with South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said they managed to uncover a huge conspiracy to make and sell methamphetamine.

    Dozens of people are locked up: 29 in Lancaster and seven in Chester. One more is still wanted.

    The state grand jury indicted all 37 people this week on charges ranging from making and trafficking meth, to child endangerment, and disposal of the dangerous drug.

    IMAGES: 37 in custody in massive SC meth bust

    SLED agents voiced concern about meth being more than just a user problem.

    "It’s environmental, and child endangerment too. Dump sites can pollute our water, and children are exposed to these meth labs," said agent Fred O'Neil.

    Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile said he expects such a large-scale attack on the meth trade to make a major dent.

    "Any time you can get 30 people off the street dealing with this quantity of methamphetamine, it'll make a huge impact," Faile said.

    The sheriff was also joined by Lancaster Police Chief Harlean Howard and Chester County Sheriff Alex Underwood. All three agencies and SLED were involved in the operation that dealt with a rise in meth labs over the last two years.

    Faile said the suspects worked together to buy the chemicals to make the drug, cook it in their homes and sell it on the streets.

    "One would go purchase the items needed to make this stuff, and then they would use another one's house to make it," he said.

    By late Thursday, 36 of the 37 people wanted by police were in jail and charged. Officers said they expect the round up could lead to other arrests, or the discovery of other meth labs.

    Across the state, 1,711 meth labs have been discovered and cleaned up since 2011. Most were found in the upstate and the midlands of South Carolina.

    The names of the accused are as follows:

    Cameron Issac Bunkley
    Fred Garland Joel Coulter
    Matthew Stephen Eason
    Dusty Lewis Faile
    Harvey E. Fowler, Jr
    Melissa Karaffa Gambrell
    Robin Ashley Lucas
    Brandy Leigh Arant
    Charles Cory Arant
    Arron Joseph Baker
    Robert Earl Baker
    Joshua Paul Boyd
    Tosha Leeann Bryson
    Kurt Louis Crenshaw
    Scott Veld Duncan
    Nicole Ivana Karen Edwards
    Miranda Gibson
    Jeffrey G. Godfrey
    Trevor Weston Griffin
    James Matthew Hall
    Todd Michael Helms
    William Edward Holley, Jr.
    Michael Maximillian Hunter
    Roy Junior Johnson
    Carla M. Killough
    Christy N. Knight
    Joy Ann Lingle
    Steven Scott Mathis
    Allison Elizabeth Mills
    Tony James Minihane
    Jennifer Ashley Patricia Ann Morris
    Kristopher Scott Rumsey
    Bobby Joe Sanders
    Dana Carol Sanders
    Michael Todd Sims
    Misty Small
    Thomas Franklin Wright, Jr.

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